U.S. set to begin sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines

60 million doses expected to be available for export in coming months, White House says

The Associated Press*

U.S. President Joe Biden while touring a vaccine manufacturing plant in mid-February. The White House says the U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca once the vaccine clears federal safety reviews. (Tom Brenner

The U.S. will begin sharing its entire pipeline of vaccines from AstraZeneca-Oxford once the COVID-19 vaccine clears federal safety reviews, the White House told The Associated Press on Monday — with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months.

The move greatly expands on the Biden administration’s action last month to share about four million doses of the vaccine with Canada and Mexico.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is widely in use around the world, including here in Canada, but is not yet authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The White House is increasingly confident in the supply of the three vaccines being administered in the U.S., particularly following the restart of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot over the weekend.

The U.S. also has been under mounting pressure in recent weeks to share more of its vaccine supply with the world, as nations like India experience devastating surges of the virus and others struggle to access doses needed to protect their most vulnerable populations.

“Given the strong portfolio of vaccines that the U.S. already has and that have been authorized by the FDA, and given that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not authorized for use in the U.S., we do not need to use the AstraZeneca vaccine here during the next several months,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients.

“Therefore, the U.S. is looking at options to share the AstraZeneca doses with other countries as they become available.”

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